By David Climer, tennessean.com:
For those keeping score, eight of the 14 SEC coaches were not in their current positions four years ago. It is a conference marked by high coaching salaries and outrageous expectations. If you don’t produce, there’s a buyout with your name on it. As for Spurrier, his comment about Sheridan and the odds was his way of suggesting he’s not even thinking about retirement, even after a 7-6 season that included four losses in five games during one painful stretch. “The retirement thing, I don’t think I’d be very good at it,” he said. In the SEC, however, coaches don’t often get to make their own exit plans.
By GUERRY CLEGG, ledger-enquirer.com:
You know college football season is close but still not quite here when Nick Saban addresses a roomful of media and is relaxed. OK, relatively relaxed. Still … No dressing down of any reporters as if they’d just blown a coverage on third-and-2. No angry tangets or agendas. Saban didn’t even go off when someone asked him about Jonathan Taylor, whose signing at Alabama and subsequent dismissal brought Saban a heavy dose of criticism. Saban’s opening monologue recently at SEC media days included pleasantries for the gathered media and even a glimpse of his softer side — again, all things relative — of being the father of the bride.
By Josh Bean, al.com:
Don’t underestimate the importance of the college football gameday experience. It can provide a recruiting edge, too. That’s the takeaway from Clay-Chalkville receiver and Alabama commitment T.J. Simmons’ comments Tuesday during Jefferson-Shelby football media day. Simmons said he grew up an Auburn fan, but his allegiance began to change when he started attending games in Tuscaloosa a few years ago.
By Charlie Potter, .247sports.com:
BamaOnLine is counting down the top-25 most important Alabama players to the team’s success ahead of the 2015 football season, and up next is senior quarterback Jacob Coker at No. 4. Coker is entering his second and final season at Alabama and is currently in the middle of a quarterback competition with redshirt freshman David Cornwell. The Florida State transfer is, however, considered to be the frontrunner, having spent last season as Blake Sim’ backup, and should be at the head of the line at practice once fall camps starts up in August.
by Charlie Burris, rockytopinsider.com:
Alabama had yet another great year under Nick Saban in 2015. The Crimson Tide began the season by clearing through West Virginia, Florida Atlantic, and Southern Miss. They then traveled to Florida where they trailed 14-7 early in the game but ultimately throttled the Gators 42-21. After a bye week, Bama went to Oxford, Miss., and in what was likely the biggest upset of the regular season in 2014, lost narrowly to the Ole Miss Rebels 23-17. From that point forward, the Tide did not drop another regular season game.
By Safid Deen, Tallahassee Democrat:
Florida State will make $5 million for its participation in the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama in Atlanta. The Seminoles will also receive access to 100 complimentary hotel rooms the night before the game, free tickets to the College Football Hall of Fame and a $50,000 scholarship as part of the game contract, which was signed by FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox on July 7.
By Marq Burnett, Anniston Star:
After five years of having just two starting quarterbacks, Alabama’s Nick Saban will have a new starting quarterback for the second straight season. Greg McElroy (2009-10) and AJ McCarron (2011-13) provided great stability at the position while also winning national championships — one for McElroy (2009) and two for McCarron (2011 and 2012). Making Blake Sims, who set multiple school records, the quarterback last season meant the Crimson Tide would need someone new behind center for the 2015 campaign. This time around, senior Jake Coker, junior Alec Morris, sophomore Cooper Bateman, redshirt freshman David Cornwell and true freshman Blake Barnett are all out to win the job. Coming out of spring practice, Coker was the No. 1 guy with Cornwell a close second.
By Matt Zenitz, al.com:
Alabama freshman quarterback Blake Barnett met with team nutritionist Amy Bragg and strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran earlier this month. Frustrated by a lack of progress in gaining weight, Barnett hoped to construct a diet that would help in his quest to get bigger in advance of preseason practice and the season, his father, Lance, told AL.com. The diet plan put together by Bragg and Cochran has helped Barnett put on around five pounds in two weeks, adding to the total since the California native arrived to Tuscaloosa as one of eight Tide early enrollees in January. Ranked by ESPN as a five-star recruit and top pocket passer in this year’s recruiting class, the 6-foot-5 Barnett is up to 208 pounds after weighing 190 in January and 200 pounds when spring practice ended in April.
By Nina Mandell, USA Today:
There’s a few things that AJ McCarron hasn’t done during his time in Cincinnati, where he was drafted out of Alabama in 2014. He hasn’t gotten much time on the field as a NFL player (he was injured and slated to play backup to Andy Dalton anyway.) He hasn’t tried Cincinnati’s famous Skyline Chili (that’s not how they do chili where he comes from, he insists.) And he hasn’t escaped being famous mostly for his college years instead of his pro career — after all being the quarterback at the University of Alabama is being in a place that had the pressures of being like a professional team without perhaps the paycheck.